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Pope Francis Thursday approved the beatification of American Br. James Miller, who was martyred in 1982 in Guatemala.
Br. James Alfred Miller, who was a religious brother of the Institute of the Brothers of Christian Schools (called Christian Brothers) was serving in Guatemala when he was shot to death by three hooded men in the afternoon of Feb. 13, 1982, dying instantly. He was 37.
Miller, who was born near Stevens Point, Wisconsin in 1944, took the habit of the Christian Brothers in August 1962.
He coached football, and taught Spanish, English, and religion in a high school in St. Paul, Minn. There his construction and maintenance abilities gained him the nickname "Brother Fix-It."
Miller was later sent to teach in Nicaragua, where under his leadership a school grew from 300 to 800 students and he supervised the construction of 10 new rural schools.
In July 1978 his superiors asked him to leave the country because of the danger amid the Sandinista Revolution. He returned to the U.S. and again taught high school.
He was sent to mission territory in Guatemala in 1981, teaching at a secondary school and at a center for studies for young indigenous Mayans from rural areas.
He was assassinated in February 1982, while standing on a ladder, repairing a wall of a school building.
Local authorities did not identify the gunmen.
HT Beardly CC